I have a sentence that I was supposed to correct; it wasn't hard to correct, but I couldn't help noticing the "yet" in the sentence: it sounded wrong, but I know that English is sometimes weird.
Here's the sentence:

We haven't had any snow yet this year. (I changed no to any)

The yet sounds weird in the sentence, almost unnecessary. I know that if I take out the yet, the sentence still works, but I'm wondering if it works if it's in.

2 Answers 2


It does in colloquial English, and with the "yet" in place, the implication is both that typically there is snow in a given year, and that the author would have expected snow by this point in the year; removing the "yet" neither renders the sentence incorrect nor ungrammatical, but may well alter the meaning relative to the author's original intent.

  • 1
    It's not that there would normally be snow by this time, but that it would be a likely possibility. The absence is noteworthy but not necessarily unusual.
    – Hot Licks
    May 7, 2018 at 22:16
  • And of course "yet" can be used in many contexts, some of which are strong idioms, so it's impossible to define a rigid meaning.
    – Hot Licks
    May 7, 2018 at 22:17
  • Note also that yet can also appear in different places: We haven't yet had any snow this year; We haven't had any snow yet this year; We haven't had any snow this year yet. May 7, 2018 at 22:50
  • 1
    It's not confined to 'colloquial English'. May 8, 2018 at 9:41

Meaning is a funny thing.

If you take the meaning only in terms of truth conditions, then you are right to say that the removal of the word yet makes no difference to the meaning. The use of the perfect tense and of the demonstrative adjective *this * are sufficient indications that the year is not over yet.

And yet the inclusion of that work does have some effect on how the utterance is received. It strikes an explicit note of caution. So it adds a certain tone to what is said. That surely is an aspect (call it a dimension) of meaning, even if, in this case, a minor one.

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